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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Heat auras can't melt steel swords.
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Heat auras can't melt steel swords.
    Uh, yeah, that's why I said that they might destroy weapons by concentrating heat in the weapon up to a higher temperature than their auras usually are? Did I say it wrong?
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Uh, yeah, that's why I said that they might destroy weapons by concentrating heat in the weapon up to a higher temperature than their auras usually are? Did I say it wrong?
    I was making a steel beams reference.
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I was making a steel beams reference.
    I didn't get it. I still don't.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I didn't get it. I still don't.
    It is a reference to a conspiracy theory in the US regarding an important historical event. (I am speaking broadly so to avoid any political reference). The term that came associated with the theory is "Jet fuel can't melt steel beams." Celestia was referencing that.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    It is a reference to a conspiracy theory in the US regarding an important historical event. (I am speaking broadly so to avoid any political reference). The term that came associated with the theory is "Jet fuel can't melt steel beams." Celestia was referencing that.
    ...Oh, okay.
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  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    ...Oh, okay.
    It's even stupider than it sounds. Trust me.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Is there a way to mitigate a magmin's downsides to make it a +0 creature? Suppose you were playing in a fire-elemental party or you had easy access to protection from elements, would that help at all?

    Because a magmin burns a lot of things, doesn't that mean that many tools are impossible to use? Spellbooks would burn or melt, making wizard impossible to play. Even spell component pouches and holy symbols could go up in smoke. Is there a way to make necessary equipment safe for these little dorks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by that_one_kobold View Post
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Is there a way to mitigate a magmin's downsides to make it a +0 creature? Suppose you were playing in a fire-elemental party or you had easy access to protection from elements, would that help at all?

    Because a magmin burns a lot of things, doesn't that mean that many tools are impossible to use? Spellbooks would burn or melt, making wizard impossible to play. Even spell component pouches and holy symbols could go up in smoke. Is there a way to make necessary equipment safe for these little dorks?
    Make tools out of asbestos. *sage nod*
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Make tools out of asbestos. *sage nod*
    Do elementals need to save versus mesothelioma? *fool shrug*
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by that_one_kobold View Post
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Do elementals need to save versus mesothelioma? *fool shrug*
    They have immunity to poison, so probably not.

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Is there a way to mitigate a magmin's downsides to make it a +0 creature? Suppose you were playing in a fire-elemental party or you had easy access to protection from elements, would that help at all?
    Sure, but that's niche enough that I doubt it'd affect LA.

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Because a magmin burns a lot of things, doesn't that mean that many tools are impossible to use? Spellbooks would burn or melt, making wizard impossible to play. Even spell component pouches and holy symbols could go up in smoke. Is there a way to make necessary equipment safe for these little dorks?
    It could be argued that the use of 'anyone' (rather than 'anything) means only creatures take the damage from their touch and aura, and that the only way for them to destroy weapons is to be hit with them. It's illogical, but so is any other part of magmins.

    Failing that, a magmin could get a hard metal spellbook enhanced with a slipcase (CA, page 140), which would have hardness 8, enough to withstand both abilities. At 220 GP it wouldn't be cheap, but it'd work. There's also an enchantment that provides resist 12 against various energy types, but it's 3000 GP. Finally, a magmin might be able to tattoo its spells on its body.

    Similarly, using a silver holy symbol might work as well: silver seems to have 8 hardness (and according to 3.0, 10).

    Spell component pouches are probably unusable. I suggest getting Eschew Materials, or having an ally carry your pouch and hand you the items when needed.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-30 at 06:54 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    They have immunity to poison, so probably not.
    Isn't mesothelioma technically a disease?
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  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Isn't mesothelioma technically a disease?
    Yes, but it requires lungs, which elementals presumably don't normally have, since the elemental type explicitly doesn't breathe.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2017-04-30 at 09:06 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Isn't mesothelioma technically a disease?
    I suppose so, but I figured its cause (asbestos) would be a poison.
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  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Isn't mesothelioma technically a disease?
    Actually, you can't really contract mesothelioma after the product has been contructed. A firefighter with asbestos in their suits are not at risk of contracting it; it's more the miners that extract it and people who live or work in places where it has been loosely placed in the walls for insulation purposes.
    There is an asbestos mine (now closed, funnily enough in a town called Asbestos) near my home town, and it's a pretty big health issue still in my region.

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Yes, but it requires lungs, which elementals presumably don't normally have, since the elemental type explicitly doesn't breathe.
    ...Yeah, that would probably help.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I suppose so, but I figured its cause (asbestos) would be a poison.
    Technically, the negative symptoms of many diseases are caused by poisons. They're just poisons that happen to have been produced by bacteria.
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  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Technically, the negative symptoms of many diseases are caused by poisons. They're just poisons that happen to have been produced by bacteria.
    Not in this case, though. The responsible poison here is fully standalone. D&D may treat poisons created by bacteria as diseases, but probably not a toxic substance that isn't produced by any living creature.
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  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Not in this case, though. The responsible poison here is fully standalone. D&D may treat poisons created by bacteria as diseases, but probably not a toxic substance that isn't produced by any living creature.
    Your point being? (For the record, mine is that, outside game mechanics, the distinction between "poison" and "disease" is arbitrary at best.)
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Manticore


    Manticores are 6 RHD magical beasts, best known for their ability to shoot tail-spikes. Otherwise, they're just another boring bag of HP with wings.

    At first glance, their tail spikes' are a wonderful source of bonus damage-stacking, but apparently they're limited to twenty-four spikes per day. At six spikes per turn, any manticore is going to run out quickly, at which point their damage output drops significantly. Unless you rarely fight more than one combat a day, investing in the spikes just won't pay off.

    Ignoring the spikes for now, let's compare manticores to the griffon, another low/mid-level magical beast. The manticore has somewhat higher ability scores, better natural attacks and one less HD, the griffon has superior flight, pounce, and rake. With the griffon getting +0 LA, I feel like a similar score could be justified for the manticore.

    +0 LA assigned: next are medusas.
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  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Why does everything have a per-day usage limit? It makes little enough sense when applied to spells (though perhaps there's some weird magibabble that explains this), but it gets downright painful when talking about biological features like spines.
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  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Why does everything have a per-day usage limit? It makes little enough sense when applied to spells (though perhaps there's some weird magibabble that explains this), but it gets downright painful when talking about biological features like spines.
    The manticore has room for 24 spines on its tail and requires a day to regrow them? Still unrealistic, but at least explicably so.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    The manticore has room for 24 spines on its tail and requires a day to regrow them? Still unrealistic, but at least explicably so.
    I guess that's the obvious answer, but it kinda breaks down when you think about it. Like, do they spikes grow back all at once? If not, why does the text imply otherwise (as opposed to saying, for instance, that they regrow at a rate of one per hour)? If so, what? And either way, why can't half-grown spikes be used in any way? Geez.

    Anyways. Onto something different.

    If we let the manticore fire spikes more or less limitlessly (or at least enough to let them be used more than a few times per day), the closest parallel would be an eldritch blast. Six 1d8+2 projectiles versus a 3d6 one...obvious pick. Slightly muddled by the magic-ness of the blast and how it can be augmented, but it'd still be favoring the spikes. But the manticore trades that superior blasting potential (and better physical chassis stuff, and clumsy flight) for a warlock's other invocations, a couple other neat tricks, superior skills, and opposable thumbs. Oh, and the manticore probably won't scale as well. Would this be worth a +1 LA?
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  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    The spikes growing back "all at once" makes sense in that they'd grow back in parallel. It probably would make more sense to track it as "they grow back 24 hours after they're fired," but it seems needlessly book-keepish to track that, when so much else is just "per day."

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    The spikes growing back "all at once" makes sense in that they'd grow back in parallel. It probably would make more sense to track it as "they grow back 24 hours after they're fired," but it seems needlessly book-keepish to track that, when so much else is just "per day."
    That depends on the mechanisms at play in the spike-regrowing process. It could be a "conveyor belt" thing, like shark teeth or something, where only a small number grow at once before moving to appropriate positions on the end of the tail, then it could go like that.
    And the "when so much else is just 'per day'" thing was kinda my point. Why is so much stuff "per day"?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    That depends on the mechanisms at play in the spike-regrowing process. It could be a "conveyor belt" thing, like shark teeth or something, where only a small number grow at once before moving to appropriate positions on the end of the tail, then it could go like that.
    And the "when so much else is just 'per day'" thing was kinda my point. Why is so much stuff "per day"?
    Intended to be a balancing factor by limitation. I'm guessing why "per day" specifically was the limitation is probably a holdover from older versions of the game, I didnt play older versions before 3.0 so I cant be 100% on that though.

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    Intended to be a balancing factor by limitation. I'm guessing why "per day" specifically was the limitation is probably a holdover from older versions of the game, I didnt play older versions before 3.0 so I cant be 100% on that though.
    Well, yeah. But why was "per day" the thing Gygax decided to use, all those decades ago?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Well, yeah. But why was "per day" the thing Gygax decided to use, all those decades ago?
    Because equivalent cooldowns get silly quickly. For example, 5/day ends up with a cooldown of 4.8 hours. That .8 has to be converted to 48 minutes. So the result is the awkward figure of "cooldown: 4 hours, 48 minutes. Maximum charges: 5" Charges combined with cooldowns in non-combat timescales get hard to manage because the DM or player has to be tracking things by the hour, minute and sometimes second, while also accounting for charges currently stored and maximum charges. You can do it, but it gets messy.

    Having it be per-day makes the narrative occasion of restoring charges extremely clear: When the party stops for the night, or when a day passes. And that sort of easy to figure timescale is vital for games like D&D that have a level of priority on long-scale events.

    Edit: As for my opinion on the spine's anatomy, I believe it's a setup where new spines grow into the place of previous spines all at once, and the spines have a replacement time of roughly one day. So each day, there's a new set of spines that grew through the place of the previous set. The amount of energy and material needed for this is insane, but so is a creature bigger than a horse flying with solid bones and a wingspan under 15 ft, so it falls under standard fantasy ignoring of real biology. Besides, it's not entirely impossible with existing biochemistry, if the spines are formed inside-out as solid near-cylinders. Biological chemical buildup rates can get extremely fast.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2017-04-30 at 08:55 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Because equivalent cooldowns get silly quickly. For example, 5/day ends up with a cooldown of 4.8 hours. That .8 has to be converted to 48 minutes. So the result is the awkward figure of "cooldown: 4 hours, 48 minutes. Maximum charges: 5" Charges combined with cooldowns in non-combat timescales get hard to manage because the DM or player has to be tracking things by the hour, minute and sometimes second, while also accounting for charges currently stored and maximum charges. You can do it, but it gets messy.
    ...Um...if you take it as a given that an ability has to be usable exactly five times each day, then a daily use limit is the most logical way to implement that. But why make that assumption? You're blatantly begging the question.

    Having it be per-day makes the narrative occasion of restoring charges extremely clear: When the party stops for the night, or when a day passes. And that sort of easy to figure timescale is vital for games like D&D that have a level of priority on long-scale events.
    There are plenty of other possible systems that do this. The most well-known is used by many video RPGs: Spells are tied to a mana pool, which depletes as spells are used and recharges when you rest (generally at inns). Or you could have a more talisman-ey focus, with players creating or gathering magical trinkets or materials during downtime and expending them during play. Or you could have magic do damage to the casters, lethal or otherwise, and have that "rest to restore strength" focus on healing wounds and so on. And that's just three possibilities that came to mind immediately; one of them is more complicated than Vancian magic (while simultaneously being more flavorful), while the other two are probably simpler. So why per-day crap?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    So why per-day crap?
    Well, let's look at your suggestions:

    1. Mana pool. Usually going to end up a form of de facto cooldown, and it doesn't let larger-scale things stay rare in use later on. It makes scarcity of ability use much harder to work out, because there's nothing to prevent someone from using only the big, flashy things or only the small, efficient things. And most will default to one or the other. So, people will not be using a lot of their abilities at all because they have no incentive to use the smaller effects over the larger effects, resulting in a large chunk of the abilities being dead space. There's also the matter that it's a number that will be constantly re-written over and over with every single ability used and it doesn't support preparation of abilities without getting more complicated than Vancian magic.

    2. Talisman/item-based magic. The DM has to place all those items and the players have to track all the ingredients. Every single item used has to be tracked and is a separate consumable, which makes it mind-numbingly complicated to make use of without defaulting to a Magic Mart. Because you have to track every single item by physically writing it down. And you have to give a list of ingredients for every single talisman/item in the entire game, no exceptions. It's also very external power, reliant on items that can be taken away with the players having little power to stop it, and it's temporary power as well, lasting only as long as you have the items to craft with.

    3. HP-based casting. This is the only one where I can give a direct reason why Gygax' vision would not let this happen. He wanted to have casters be extremely weak and easily killed early on. Having casting based on hit points leads to casters diving into getting as much health as they can without sacrificing spell strength. World of Warcraft(it constantly keeps happening with Warlocks) avoids the issues this causes by having the ability to actually survive being hit rely on armor, but the Chainmail-based system of OD&D doesn't play nice with large damage reduction. Because it eventually translates to "immunity to scratch damage." Which violates the "everything is always a threat" nature of OD&D because Gygax loved screwing over players.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Medusa


    Let us take a moment to wrap our collective minds around the fact that the abomination pictured above is, I quote, 'indistinguishable from a normal human at distances greater than 30 feet'. I'm fairly sure I'd be able to spot the difference, to be honest.

    With that out of the way, let's take a look at medusas. They have six monstrous humanoid HD, which are somewhat south of a ranger's. Their ability scores get bonuses in the 2-4 range, with the exception of their unboosted strength.

    Aside from that, medusae have the quite unique 'snakes' natural attack, which deals a few points of damage with moderate strength poison attached. They also have some natural armor.

    Finally, their main attack. It's your typical petrification gaze, aided by innate charisma and availability of Narrowed Gaze. Useful against most stuff, nonfunctional against a few.

    Having to choose between +1 and +2 LA, I think I'll settle for +1 right now. Medusas have one strong ability, but so do many other monsters, and apart from their one trick they're near-worthless. Feedback is welcome!
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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